Jean-Paul Riopelle - 1923 - 2002

Jean Paul Riopelle (1923-2002), Photographed in his Paris Atelier Photographer: Karsh, Yousuf

Jean Paul Riopelle (1923-2002), Photographed in his Paris Atelier

Photographer: Karsh, Yousuf

Jean-Paul Riopelle pioneered a particular style of painting where he used large quantities of different colours of paints (mostly oil) to apply thickly to his canvas with a trowel. Jean-Paul Riopelle, CC GOQ was from Quebec, Canada.Works such as Pavane (1954) and The Wheel II (1956) represent this technique. For Riopelle, the following years brought him much success and he quickly became a big part of the Parisian cultural scene. He became one of the most internationally celebrated Canadian painters of the twentieth century.

"In the 1960s, Riopelle renewed his ties to Canada. Exhibitions were held at the National Gallery of Canada (1963), and the Musée du Quebec held a retrospective in 1967. In the early 1970s, he built a home and studio in the Laurentians. From 1974 he divided his time between St. Marguerite in Quebec, and Saint-Cyr-en-Arthies in France. Riopelle participated in his last exhibition in 1996. From 1994 until his death, he maintained homes in both St. Marguerite and Isle-aux-Grues, Quebec." - Soucre: National Gallery of Canada

Jean-Paul Riopelle was known for his abstract expressionist work and was likely the 'greatest exponent' of abstract art!. Aside from his abstract painting, Jean-Paul was also a graphic artist and sculptor. 

In 1962 he represented Canada at the Venice Biennale, where he won the UNESCO prize.

Jean-Paul was influenced by traditional representational art, particularly - landscape painting - which he soon abandoned, due to the prominent influence of the Canadian artist, Paul-Emile Borduas (1905-60), who steered him toward non-objective art. 

More about Jean-Paul:

  • Artworks: La Joute, Six owls, Composition III, La Cime de L'Herve, Hommage à Aimé et Marguerite Maegh, + more
  • Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
  • Associated periods or movements: Lyrical abstraction
  • Nationality: Canada
  • Art Forms: Painting

To view Jean-Paul Riopelles collections, click here.